Recently I’ve been thinking about the word “equality” and what it really means. I always think that when you are thinking about word and are unsure what it means a good place to start is the dictionary. But that didn’t help much because the major definition simply says “the state of being equal” or defines equality in terms of mathematics. I think most of who think equality is important would define it in terms of equal status, equal rights, and equal opportunities. Such equality might be easy to legislate, but it is not easily found.
The interesting question to me is why equality is something that some people thing is important and others don’t. Part of the reason is that many simply don’t see other people as equal. And most troubling are those who see someone as inherently unequal simply due gender or race. It seems to me that those who fight for equality and who believe that equality is important in a society don’t see inequality as inherent, but rather a product of environment.
Equality, like freedom may be a difficult ideal to obtain, but it seems to me the true inequality in this world is between those who think we can attain it and those who think inequality is inherent for whatever reason. And so I wonder, what is the common bond between people in both those groups of people? Since race and gender have nothing to do with how smart you are, your physical abilities, your potential to be successful, or your ability to show love and kindness, why are there people who think that race and gender automatically pre-determines such things? Children carry no inherent sense of inequality in regards to race and gender, so where does it come from? What trait oh of humanity leads people to adopt the idea that one person is less than another? When does it start to develop? Is it a desire for power? A fear that in balancing the equation that for one group of people to rise up, that we must then relinquish some power and come down? Maybe equality isn’t something we can attain, but maybe we can at least see everybody as valuable if not equal. To be honest, the fact that we are all equal regardless of race or gender seems so obvious to me that I find it vexing that anybody should think any other way, so I am interested in hearing thoughts from others.